Q:

Why does black absorb more heat?

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Quick Answer

Black absorbs more heat because it also absorbs more light, and light energy changes into thermal energy, which gives off heat. Light is absorbed or reflected from an object. For example, blue objects reflect blue light and absorb other colors.

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Why does black absorb more heat?
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Full Answer

White reflects light, absorbing little to none of it, so it also reflects heat. Black, however, absorbs all colors of light. Because of the large amount of light absorbed, more thermal energy is produced. This phenomenon explains why wearing white clothes is preferable to wearing black clothes in the summer. "Albedo" is a term dealing with a surface's reflective qualities. A 0 percent albedo means complete absorption of light, and 100 percent means complete reflection of light. Accordingly, black has a very low albedo.

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Related Questions

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    Does a material's color affect its heat absorption?

    A:

    A material's color affects its ability to absorb light. An object of a certain color reflects that same color but absorbs light from all the other colors. Since light is energy, the more light that an object absorbs, the more heat it absorbs.

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    What color absorbs the most heat?

    A:

    Black is the color that absorbs the most heat among all the colors in the spectrum. Black objects absorb all wavelengths of light and reflect none of them. Absorbed light is converted to heat.

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    In what unit is heat energy measured?

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    The thermal energy within an object is measured in joules. This unit is obtained from other basic units, such as mass, time and length. The unit was named in honor of Prescott Joule. A calorie is also a measure of heat.

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    How does heat differ from thermal energy?

    A:

    Heat differs from thermal energy in that heat is the transfer of thermal energy from one location, object or substance to another. Thus, heat is a process that happens to thermal energy and is meaningless without it. Thermal energy is the random kinetic energy of the constituent molecules or atoms of a substance and is transferred as heat via conduction, convection or radiation.

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